Q: I haven't had contact with my daughters bio father in almost 5 years.
custody is not established. When she was a baby I did have an open ORS case and recieved child support. I closed the case over 3 years ago- and have not had contact with bio father almost 5 years. What do I need to do to next? Is this considered abandonment? Is terminating rights possible at this point? My daughter is now 6 and wants her last name changed to mine. ( Also we were never married).
A: You should have a very strong case for abandonment and termination of parental rights if the sperm donor knew where the child was, had the ability to make contact, and merely failed to make an effort to maintain contact. If he can demonstrate attempts to communicate or show that you interfered with his efforts to maintain a relationship, that would be a different situation.
The most efficient way to handle the situation would be to contact the father and see if he would agree to termination of his rights. If he agrees you could file a stipulated petition and the amount of time and effort spent dealing with the Court would be greatly reduced.
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